With 2019 nearly upon us, excitement is growing as sport fans ask questions like ‘Who will be our next big sporting star?’, ‘Can England end years of misery?’ and Will the old guards of sport be toppled?’
Those questions are some of the big questions that will be on everyone’s lips throughout 2019, so please let us guide you through the major talking points to watch out for in what promises to be another crazy yet epic year of sporting drama.
Can England end 53 years of hurt?Embed from Getty Images
Although odd-numbered years tend to be quiet for England senior football teams, 2019 sees the senior sides have not one but two chances to end a 53 year wait for a first-team trophy.
England Lions’ head to Portugal in June for the UEFA Nations League Finals, knowing that victory over a resurgent Netherlands then one of Portugal/Switzerland will see them become inaugural tournament winners and end that long wait for a trophy.
Should they fail to achieve success in O’ Rectangulo then just 833 miles away in France, the Lionesses have a chance to succeed where the men failed by winning the 2019 FIFA World Cup.Embed from Getty Images
Currently ranked fourth in world rankings and in a tough Group D containing Scotland, Argentina and Japan, the Lionesses face an almighty challenge like no other if are to become serious contenders and end semi-final heartache which is so common to England fans.
That task is going to be the even more tougher without star midfielder, Jordan Nobbs who is out injured so togetherness of the team and nation will be important in pushing them all the way.
No pressure then but which if either of these two teams will bring it home?
Leclerc vs VettelEmbed from Getty Images
2019 could very well be a massive year for Ferrari as Charles Leclerc looks to displace Sebastian Vettel as the Top Prancing Horse.
Since arriving at Marnaello in 2015, Vettel has enjoyed a progressive period as their number one with Kimi Raikkonen playing the comfortable supporter in the German’s quest for a fifth title.
Now things are changing with Leclerc replacing the Finnish star which should worry Vettel, who enjoyed five blissful years as Red Bull’s top driver before Daniel Ricciardo replaced Mark Webber and thumped him performance wise.
It’s a similar pattern here at Ferrari as like Ricciardo at Red Bull four years ago, Leclerc has been promoted from a team with close connections to a frontrunner so could history be set to repeat itself five years on for Vettel?
Will Lewis Hamilton Reign Again?Embed from Getty Images
With four titles in last five seasons and more pole positions than any other driver, Lewis Hamilton will be aiming to make it a significant six in 2019.
He however has tough competition from teammate, Valtteri Bottas and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel who both will be keen to bounce back from an error prone 2018 season.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc of Ferrari are also threats as they aim to dethrone the old generation of Hamilton and Vettel, making this season an unpredictable battle of youth vs experience.
Consistency however will be key as demonstrated by Hamilton this season who finished on podium in 17 of 21 races compared to Vettel’s 12, which ultimately saw him seal his fifth title despite both suffering just one retirement each.
As well as competition, Hamilton has the motivation of closing in on Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 race wins, which could be beaten in 2019 if he does the unthinkable and win 19 out of 21 races.
All of the above therefore makes for a dramatic 2019 in F1 so come December, will Lewis Hamilton be reigning again?
‘Big Four’ To Be Dismantled?
Recent years have seen Tennis fans wondering when the ‘Big Four’ will be dismantled after what is now a decade of domination, so will 2019 prove to be that year or is this gang pretty invincible regardless of age?
Likes of Kei Nishikori, Milos Raonic and Grigor Dimitrov have been expected to end the ‘Big Four’ domination but only Marin Cilic and Stan Wawrinka have managed to disrupt that dominance by the ‘Big Four’ of; Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray.
Now with Alexander Zverev, Karen Khachanov, Kyle Edmund and Stefanos Tsitsipas leading the next generation, 2019 will prove to be a massive year as they aim to make the step forward by consistently going deep in Grand Slams.
One hope for these players is that despite members of ‘Big Four’ having finished each season for past five years with most titles, the last three years have seen the highest total come down per season by two (Murray in 2016 – 9, Federer in 2017 – 7, Nadal in 2018 – 5).
There are various factors behind that drop from excellent schedule management by players to Father Time slowly catching up with them as highlighted by injury problems beginning to plague Nadal, Djokovic and Murray in last two years.
Those factors plus no clear successor in terms of likely dominance therefore makes 2019 an exciting year in terms of answering so many questions surrounding the future of men’s tennis.